First witness examined in ILP damage suit

SHILLONG: The first witness in the damage suit of over Rs 31 crore relating to the ILP agitations was examined in the Special Court dealing with the pending case here on Thursday.
It was in 2013 that the State Government had filed the damage suit in the Special Court, seeking compensation of over Rs 31.09 crore from as many as 14 pressure groups for the damages and loss of private property, both individual and community-owned, and government property caused during the ILP agitation.
On Thursday, the evidence of first witness, Deputy Secretary, Political department, B. Khongwir was taken in the Special Court. Only three pressure groups– Synjuk ki Seng Samla Shnong (SSSS), Civil Society Women’s Organization (CSWO) and All India Garo Union (AIGU), were represented by their counsels. The counsel MF Qureshi, who was present in the court on behalf of CSWO, said that the first witness who filed  the complaint has submitted 10 exhibits in the form of letters from various deputy commissioners and government departments as he has been asked by the State Government through the Commissioner and Secretary to file the damage suit against agitating pressure groups for damages incurred during the ILP agitation.
The counsel said that during examination, the witness admitted that he was not aware of the criminal cases that have been dropped against certain pressure groups.
The witness was also asked by the counsel whether the State Government filed any case against the CSWO under the Prevention of Damage to Public property Act 1984 and the reply was in the negative.
According to the counsel, the official also said that no cause of action was initiated against CSWO.
When contacted, the official said that he filed the case against the pressure groups collectively.
Earlier, while the State government had dropped as many as 92 cases under the Meghalaya Maintenance of Public Order Act in connection with the ILP agitations, the damage suit of over Rs 31 crore has been pending for the last three years.

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